On the morning of Saturday April 15th, 150 men and women gathered at the International Center to attend the first ever OWN IT Summit brought to UC Davis. Months priors to the event, Davis Women In Business was hard at work, vigorously planning, marketing, and designing this outstanding leadership conference. The goal for many of the master minds behind OWN IT is to cultivate an exceptional learning experience to help foster and encourage young women to pursue their wildest dreams. As you will soon see, OWN IT was a tremendous success. As an organization that values the importance of empowering young women, we strive to bridge the leadership gap between men and women and ultimately shatter the glass ceiling that prevents young women from obtaining their biggest goals and aspirations. We want to share some of our behind the scenes moments with you, as well as provide an overview of what exactly went down at OWN IT!
Breakdown of our Agenda
9:00 am - Registration
10:00 am - Welcome Address
10:15 am - Keynote Presentation by Venita Sivamani: Co-Founder & CEO at Dermveda
10:30 am - Panel 1: Women in Business
11:20 am - Breakout Session #1
12:05 pm - Panel 2: Women In Tech with Facebook Infrastructure Team
12:55 pm - Lunch
1:55 pm - Panel 3: Women in Science & Engineering
2:45 pm - Breakout Session #2
3:35 pm - Panel 4: Women in Activism
4:20 pm - Closing Remarks
The day began at 7 am for many of our members including Disha Bahl (the OWN IT Director), the OWN IT team, and several DWIB committee members. Everything from transporting food, setting up banners, balloons, and swag bags were all a hectic yet smooth portion of prepping for OWN IT. All hands were on deck as each individual was assigned a duty from arranging breakfast, setting up the panelists stage, and running through technical checks for the day. Efforts were streamlined from all DWIB members and volunteers who helped create fluid transitions for each planned event. Lindsay Chan (a member of the OWN IT Board) stated that, "one of the main tasks for the OWN IT Board the day-of was to ensure that all the speakers were greeted, given their name badges, and were situated at our venue. As an inaugural summit, I think we were able to successfully execute the event with the help of all our volunteers, friends and DWIB members!"
Check out our slideshow to get a glimpse of how our morning began!
After breakfast, it was time to hear from our Keynote speaker and panelists!
Takeaway From our Panelist Speakers
During our Women in Business panel, panelists Laurie Lavaroni, Jyoti Sarin, Shujan Bertrand, Brenda Dulger-Sheikin, and Kristy Nguyen Junio took on the stage with confidence and grace. They spoke about their challenges of being the only woman within a male-dominated team, facing challenges in the office head on, and finding a culture and community that not only supports women but also provides you with the resources to become an advocate for change. One of my favorite takeaways from this panel were 3 strong statements from Jyoti Sarin, a Senior IT Manager at Cisco Systems. She stated the following:
1. Honor your craft (be good at what you do and OWN IT)
2. Support the women in your network
3. Act, don't react
The remainder of the day continued with breakout sessions and panels from our Facebook Infrastructure Team, Women in Science & Engineering, and Women in Activism. Each panel delivered rich knowledge, inspiration and occasional laughs. It was evident that all attendees had a wonderful experience at our Summit!
We couldn't have done it without our Directors and Committee Members!
This event would not have been possible without the help of our wonderful Directors, Committees, and participants! We want to thank you for your hard work, relentless dedication, and your outstanding commitment to helping us create such a successful event!
We want to give a huge shoutout to all of our sponsors!
Thank you to our amazing sponsors:
UC Davis Graduate School of Management
Club Finance Council
UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
California Hydronics Corporation
Student Recruitment and Retention Center
UC Davis Women's Resource and Retention Center
UC Davis Principles of Community
Peets Coffee & Tea
Written by: Grace Chung
Photography Credit: Eric Ruperto